Hootsuite vs Buffer: which is best?

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Social media dashboards can be a fantastic way of helping to save your marketing team money and time, by letting you schedule your messaging in advance and enabling you to listen to what your customers and prospective customers have to say.

In a previous article, we compared Hootsuite to Sprout Social to see who won the battle of the management systems. Although Sprout Social put up a fantastic fight, Hootsuite edged it out solely on its low price point and ability to manage more social media profiles.

In this post, we are going to take a look at Buffer. Buffer currently has over 4.5 million users worldwide and is used by companies including Spotify, Stripe and Trello. 

Interesting fact for you: Buffer originally was developed in Birmingham before it was moved across to the United States!

Join us as we compare and contrast Hootsuite and Buffer and see which is the best tool for managing your social media presence…

Two of the heavy-hitters when it comes to social media dashboards are Hootsuite and Sprout Social, with them both providing services for major corporations including Shopify, Glassdoor, Nokia and Domino’s. 

The similarities between the two systems

  • A mobile app so you can update messages on the go!
  • A browser extension for curating content
  • The ability to schedule posts


Hootsuite: As mentioned previously, although Hootsuite’s design and usability have improved over the last few years, some people have commented on the fact that it can look cluttered and can be hard to get to grips with. Once you’ve had a bit of a play around with it though and have customised it the way you want it, you’ll be up and running! 

One of Hootsuite’s benefits is its bulk message uploader, where you can upload multiple social media messages in CSV format.

Buffer: Buffer is well known for its clear and clean layout, which make it a lot easier to manage your posts than Hootsuite. However, it does lack some features that Hootsuite does. Its analytics features are only available on larger packages, and it lacks the social listening functionality that Hootsuite has.

Things are improving on the Buffer front though, and it does look like Buffer has some exciting new features in the pipeline, including a grid view where you can see what your Instagram feed will look like when scheduling photos, for maximum aesthetic impact!


Both Hootsuite and Buffer integrate with a wide range of social media platforms, which we have listed below. 

Hootsuite: You can connect Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest to your Hootsuite account, as well as schedule posts through Google My Business. You can also integrate systems including Zendesk, Trello and Slack into your Hootsuite account for additional functionality. 

Buffer: Buffer lets you post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest, but unlike Hootsuite you cannot link your Google My Business account.

Both sites integrate with Zapier, giving you access to over 2,000 other apps and integrations!


Both Buffer and Hootsuite have cost-effective pricing package to suit every company’s needs and budget, with a free trial so you can test each platform before you commit!

Hootsuite: Hootsuite starts at £25 for a month, which gives you access to one user account, ten social media profiles and unlimited scheduling. The pricing does seem to go up exponentially after that, but unless you are a large business with a massive social media presence, the starter package should do the job.

Hootsuite also offers a free version with limited functionality. With the free version, you can schedule up to thirty social media messages across three social media profiles. 

Buffer: Buffer starts at $15 a month. For this, you get one user and eight social media accounts and can schedule 100 messages across each social media account. 

The most expensive package Buffer offers is $99 a month, which gives you 25 social media accounts, six users and 2,000 social media posts across each social media account. This is excellent value for money considering with Sprout Social, the $99 package was the cheapest one they offered!

Buffer also offers a free plan, which gives you three social media accounts, ten social media posts across each social media account and one user.

Buffer works out considerably cheaper than Hootsuite, which makes it a winner in our book. It does put a limit on the number of posts you can put out, but this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem unless you post several times a day! 


We love both of these social media dashboards! Buffer is clean and clear to use and comes at a great price point. Hootsuite is also an affordable option, and although its layout is a bit more cluttered, it has a bit more additional functionality.

It ultimately depends on what you want your dashboard to do. If you are just looking to schedule messages, Buffer may be the best bet. If you are looking for a more well-rounded system, for example, you want to do some social listening, then Hootsuite may be right for your needs instead.

You might also like to read about 4 Hootsuite Alternatives

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